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Scriptapalooza Interviews TV Sitcom First Place Winner Kris Rasmussen

Scriptapalooza: How did you come up with your story idea?

Thank goodness for funny parents! The idea was inspired by my mom. We happened to be watching t.v. one night at my parent's house, and it was the King of Queens, and she mentioned out of nowhere how she and my Dad had picked out their tombstones and really wanted me to see them because they were so nice. So I put two and two together and wrote the script.

Scriptapalooza: How long did it take you to write it?

The first 18 pages came in a heartbeat but then it took awhile to finish the rest of the script. Like a couple of months, I think! I knew it was a really good premise so I stuck with it.

Scriptapalooza: Is this your first script that you have written?

No. This is only the fourth spec sitcom script I have written in the last year.

Scriptapalooza: Have you entered other screenwriting competitions?

I entered Scriptapalooza once previously and was a semi finalist earlier this year. I have entered some theatrical playwriting competitions previously and won two of those, in 1999 and in May of 2001.

Scriptapalooza: Why did you enter Scriptapalooza?

Scriptapalooza seemed like one of the better competitions to enter because of strong sponsorship and ties to specific production companies/agents. Being a semi-annual competition helps, too.

Scriptapalooza: How did you feel when you saw your name as one of the winners?

I visited the website about a million times on the 15th waiting for the results to be posted!!! I was surprised I won. I was just hoping to move up to being a finalist.

Scriptapalooza: Advice to other screenwriters?

Well, if you haven't read Evan Smith's book on televison writing, you should. I've been able to work closely with 2 or 3 other writers in the last year, sharing scripts back and forth, and it's really helped the level of my writing, I think. So if you can find a good group of writers to meet with and work with, do it!

Scriptapalooza: If you could write for any TV show, which one would it be?

I'm in love with Everybody Loves Raymond and would give my right arm to write one scene for Doris Roberts and Patricia Heaton!

Updated: 08/31/2001
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Additional Contest Info: Scriptapalooza TV Writing Competition